|ATI All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro|
Review: Jeff Lange
The ATI All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro is ATIís brand new mainstream multimedia card. A combination of an extremely advanced graphics chipset and arguably the best multimedia packages available on the planet smashed together into a single AGP 8x video card. The card features full DirectX 9.0 support, as well as being the first All-in-Wonder card to implement ATIís Hydravision dual monitor support (available on other ATI video cards since early 2001). The card ships with 128MB of 128-bit DDR memory.
Another enhancement on this new card is the addition of an FM tuner built right onto the board on top of the standard TV tuner of all previous All-in-Wonder cards. ATI has added TV-ON-DEMAND functionality to the FM tuner capabilities and appropriately named them FM-ON-DEMAND. FM-ON-DEMAND includes the ability to pause/rewind radio for listening later (the audio is recorded in MP3 format). Other enhancements on the software side include the ability to record directly from the capture components to DVD discs. (Note that this requires you to own a separate DVD burner).
Though I had expected to receive the Remote Wonder II RF remote control with the card, it in fact only included a slightly updated version of the original Remote Wonder (available since the All-in-Wonder Radeon 8500dv was released in 2001). ATI did include a coupon in the box to get a Remote Wonder II for free (all you pay is shipping and handling). The card also ships with a coupon to get yourself a free copy of Half Life 2 when it is released later this year.
The All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro fits in nicely right into the middle of ATIís All-in-Wonder line-up, which now consists of 7 products, ranging from the low-end PCI Radeon 7500-powered All-in-Wonder VE weighing in at $129.99 to the super-high-end Radeon 9800 Pro-powered All-in-Wonder 9800 Pro weighing in at a mighty $399.99. The street price of the All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro is $249.99, right where ATI said it would be when they announced it in September. The fact that the All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro actually has more multimedia features than the 9800 Pro for almost half of the price just serves to entice possible customers further.
Next: First Thoughts